Journey Two / Chapter 8

Nubra Valley

August 2016

You can always go more remote from Ladakh - to Ladakhi exterior. The deep cut Shyok and Nubra River Valleys offer tremendousscenery with green oasis villages surrounded by thrillingly stark scree slopes, boulder fields and harsh arid mountains.

The Nubra Valley is the Northernmost region of India. It is also one of the remotest and least accessible region. Road travel is sometimes cut for months in the winter and there is no public airport. In the Valley, the Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large area that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges.

At the very end of the Valley, just few miles off the Line Of Control, the de facto Indian frontier with Pakistan, lies the village of Turtuk. Essentially the most remote settlement in whole India, it is direct neighbour of the war-line of the oldest frozen conflict on the planet. Despite being so close to unwanted action and attraction, locals seems to go happily with their everyday lives pretty much secluded and separated from the rest of the world. The culture living here - the Balti people - is unique and not found anywhere around. An ethnic group of Tibetan descent with Dardic admixture, they historically practiced Bon and Tibetan Buddhism, but nowadays mostly adhere to Sufi school of Islam.

The village of Turtuk was opened for foreigners and Indian tourists just few years ago, and as such its one of the freshest havens in the world largely unspoiled by commercialism, offering miraculous views at their simple but efficient way of life to any adventurer daring to travel this far.